The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a framework for global change. They highlight the ares we all need to focus on to ensure a brighter future for us as human beings as well as for the rest of the planet.

As a part of FSC's global work to ensure nature and people the FSC-standards are covering a lot of the criterias behind the SDGs, helping to create this global change.




Click on the following SDG icons to learn more about our contribution to a sustainable future!








Whether you choose to work with the FSC standards for forest or production or you purchase certified products you are part of the amazing journey for change.

If you are working with your organisations CSR-reporting or communication, you can use your engagement with FSC to highlight that change you create.

Explore more - click the SDG logos to learn how FSC makes a diffrence in that specific area. 





SDG 01: No poverty


We combat poverty with better wages, local jobs and legal logging

Extreme poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 1990. While this is a remarkable achievement, one in five people in developing regions still live on less than $1.90 a day; there are millions more who make little more than this daily amount and many people risk slipping back into poverty. 


Case studies and other evidence documents the role forests and trees outside forests play in national economic growth, rural development and livelihoods. More than 1.6 billion people depend on forests in their daily lives and more than 300 million people are living in forests. Furthermore, forest products are a source of economic growth and employment in a global industry generating approximately $327 billion annually.


FSC contributes to goal 1 of no poverty in a variety of ways. Certified timber is crucial in combating the trade in illegal timber. Illegal logging encourages corruption, undermines tax payments and reduces income for producing countries. This limits the resources available for further investments in sustainable development.


In some cases, FSC-certified smallholders and community foresters can gain additional income and security by applying for FSC certification. Some poverty-reducing benefits are directly defined in the FSC requirements; others depend more on the market and whether the customer is prepared, or able, to pay extra for products and/or agree to fair, long-term contracts. 

FSC’s contributions to poverty reduction are often more substantial in situations where people live in certified forests. FSC rules require the payment of reasonable wages, the protection of forest workers, and agreements with local populations to guarantee they receive a share of the benefits of forest management. This can include the construction and operation of schools and/or hospitals, which increase access to education and health care - two elements that contribute to the alleviation of poverty.



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 1 No poverty:


  • 2.4 The Organization shall pay wages that meet or exceed minimum forest industry standards or other recognized forest industry wage agreements or living wages, where these are higher than the legal minimum wages. When none of these exist, The Organization shall through engagement with workers* develop mechanisms for determining living wages.
  • 4.3 The Organization shall provide reasonable opportunities for employment, training and other services to local communities, contractors and suppliers proportionate to scale and intensity of its management Activities.
  • 4.4 The Organization shall implement additional activities, through engagement with local communities, that contribute to their social and economic development, proportionate to the scale, intensity and socio-economic impact of its management activities.
  • A study found that workers associated with certified forest communities in Tanzania earned higher income than those in non-FSC forests and had greater income equity (read more)


Sources and more information:









SDG 02: Zero Hunger


We ensure forests help bring food to the table


A fundamental change of the global food and agriculture system is needed if we are to nourish today’s 815 million hungry and the additional 2 billion people expected by 2050. Malnutrition affects nearly every country on the planet (FAO, 2014). As population estimates for 2050 reach over 9 billion people globally, issues of food security and nutrition now dominate many academic and political discussions. 


Forests plays an important role in complementing the production of food from other sectors to help eliminate global hunger. For example, forests and trees can be managed to provide better and more nutritionally balanced diets and greater control over food inputs. This is particularly important for marginalized groups and during periods of vulnerability such as lean seasons. Forests and trees also deliver ecosystem services for crop production (Vira et al., 2015). 


Millions of households in the developing world depend on food and fodder from forests to supplement their diets and those of their livestock. Besides the direct supply of food, forests often provide important ecosystem services, which support the water cycle and help sustain healthy agricultural sectors.


Deforestation and degradation can negatively impact on this, whereas responsible forest management as set out by the requirements of FSC, plays a key role in mitigating global hunger, contributing to goal 2 of zero hunger.




FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 2 Zero hunger:

•    FSC’s Principles and Criteria
•    FSC’s national forest management standards


Sources and more information: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/hunger/, http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/u5620e/U5620E03.htm, https://ic.fsc.org/en/web-page-/fsc-contributions-to-achieving-the-sust…, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/59, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/335



SDG 03: Good Health and Well-Being


We ensure safety in both forestry and in the upstream production chain



Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed.


Studies show that trees and forests are of significant benefit to people’s overall health and well-being. Besides basic ecosystem services, such as clean water and food, forests also provide many pharmaceutical products and traditional medicines. Research shows that forests and trees also positively affect the physical and mental health of individuals and populations.


Forests are a source of clean air as trees improve air quality by removing substantial amounts of pollution and, producing significant health benefits in both urban and rural areas. Wildfires are increasingly occurring in some regions, accelerated by forest clearing and degradation and climate change. The smog from these fires can spread thousands of miles and the air pollution it creates is connected to a variety of respiratory and cardiac issues, which correlate with premature death and low birth weights.


Well-managed forests can support efforts to reduce the impact of pollution and secure forest functions and resources important to human health. On the ground, FSC supports forest workers’ health by ensuring health and safety practices are undertaken. FSC-certified companies must provide workers with job-specific training and supervision to ensure safety in both forestry and the upstream production chain. They must also have mechanisms for providing fair compensation to workers in the case of occupational diseases. 




FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 3 Healthy lives and well-being:

  • 2.3 The Organization* shall implement health and safety practices to protect workers* from occupational safety and health hazards. These practices shall, proportionate to scale, intensity and risk* of management activities, meet or exceed the recommendations of the ILO Code of Practice on Safety and Health in Forestry Work. 
  • 2.5 The Organization* shall demonstrate that workers have job-specific training and supervision to safely and effectively implement the management plan* and all management activities.
  • 2.6 The Organization* through engagement* with workers* shall have mechanisms for resolving grievances and for providing fair compensation to workers for loss or damage to property, occupational diseases*, or occupational injuries* sustained while working for The Organization.
  • 4.3 The Organization* shall provide reasonable* opportunities for employment, training and other services to local communities*, contractors and suppliers proportionate to scale and intensity of its management activities.
  • 4.4 The Organization* shall implement additional activities, through engagement* with local communities*, that contribute to their social and economic development, proportionate to the scale, intensity and socio-economic impact of its management activities.


Sources and more information: 


SDG 04: Quality Education


We help bring education to children in the tropical forests


Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development. Major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrolment rates in schools particularly for women and girls. Basic literacy skills have improved tremendously, yet bolder efforts are needed to make even greater strides for achieving universal education goals. For example, the world has achieved equality in primary education between girls and boys, but few countries have achieved that target at all levels of education. (source: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/education/



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 4 Quality Education:


FSC does not address the targets set by UN in SDG4 directly. 


However, many FSC certified forests especially on the Southern hemisphere often include better schools for the children of forest workers as part of their certification. As a result FSC helps many children in forest areas around the world obtain an education.


Furthermore training and continuous learning for forest workers around the world is an integral part of the FSC system. 


SDG 05: Gender equality


We make sure men and women having equal rights and possibilities in certified companies

Gender equality has long been a human right and a core development goal. Yet globally, women still have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education and receive lower wages than men. They are also exposed to greater health and safety risks, and have less political representation. And women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.


FSC defines gender equality as women and men having equal conditions for realizing their full human rights and for contributing to, and benefiting from, economic, social, cultural and political development. FSC contributes to goal 5 of gender equality through various requirements. 


To overcome challenges in achieving gender equality in the forest sector, FSC standards require equality in employment practices, training opportunities, awarding of contracts, processes of engagement and management activities. FSC also requires that men and women are paid the same wage when they do the same work.


In addition, FSC standard development groups must investigate whether gender equality is secured through national legislation - both in terms of actual legislation and implementation. Where there are gaps between FSC requirements and national legislation, the FSC standard must include indicators beyond national law. Typically these indicators will ensure (additional) training, alternative payment and assignments methods, flexible working hours, parental leave, childcare, etc.



How FSC contributes to delivering on SDG 5, Gender Equality

FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 5 Gender equality:

  • 2.2 The Organization shall promote gender equality in employment practices, training opportunities, awarding of contracts, processes of engagement, and management activities.
  • 2.2: The Organization shall promote gender equality in employment practices, training opportunities, awarding of contracts, processes of engagement, and management activities. This criterion is further elaborated in several of FSC’s IGIs:
  • 2.2.1 Systems are implemented that promote gender equality and prevent gender discrimination in employment practices, training opportunities, awarding of contracts, processes of engagement, and management activities. 
  • 2.2.2 Job opportunities are open to both women and men under the same conditions, and women are encouraged to participate actively in all levels of employment. 
  • 2.2.3 Work typically carried out by women (nurseries, silviculture, non-timber forest product harvesting, weighing, packing, etc.) is included in training and health and safety programmes to the same extent as work typically carried out by men. 
  • 2.2.4 Women and men are paid the same wage when they do the same work. 
  • 2.2.5 Women are paid directly and using mutually agreed methods (e.g. direct bank transfer, direct payments for school fees, etc.) to ensure they safely receive and retain their wages.
  • 2.2.6 Maternity leave is no less than a six-week period after childbirth.
  • 2.2.7 Paternity leave is available and there is no penalty for taking it. 
  • 2.2.8 Meetings, management committees and decision-making forums are organized to include women and men, and to facilitate the active participation of both. 
  • 2.2.9 Confidential and effective mechanisms exist for reporting and eliminating cases of sexual harassment and discrimination based on gender, marital status, parenthood, or sexual orientation.
  • FSC standard setting requirements


Sources and more information:









SDG 06: Clean Water and Sanitation


We protect and ensure water resources around the world through sustainable forest management


Access to water is one of the most basic human rights and is crucial for human survival. However, due to poverty or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.   

Forests play a key role in the global water cycle by stabilizing the climate, generating rain and providing watersheds. Water scarcity is increasingly at the center of crises and conflict, accelerated by climate change and increasing human population and consumption. 


By securing basic forest functions FSC-certification plays a positive role in sustainable water management, contributing to goal 6 of clean water and sanitation. With its ecosystem approach, FSC-certified forests contribute to efficient and sustainable water use, integrated water resource management, and protection of water-related ecosystems. FSC requires the protection and restoration of “natural watercourses, water bodies, riparian zones and their connectivity”. And foresters are obliged to “avoid negative impacts on water quality and quantity and mitigate and remedy those that occur”.


Through several requirements, FSC indirectly contributes to maintaining water quality in forests. These include, but are not limited to, requirements for training forest workers in manoeuvring machines close to waterways, waste management and forest road construction. In addition to these requirements, which are valid for all FSC Forest Management certificate holders, there are also specific requirements for forest managers that use FSC certification as specific evidence for payments for ecosystem services, including watershed services. These will further contribute to Goal 6.



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 6 Clean Water and sanitation:

•    6.7 The Organization shall protect or restore natural water courses, water bodies, riparian zones and their connectivity. The Organization shall avoid negative impacts on water quality and quantity and mitigate and remedy those that occur.

•    Principle 2: Workers Rights and Employment Conditions. The Organization shall maintain or enhance the social and economic wellbeing of workers.

•    Principle 5: Benefits from the Forest. The Organization shall efficiently manage the range of multiple products and services of the Management Unit to maintain or enhance long term economic viability and the range of environmental and social benefits.

•    Principle 7: Management Planning. The Organization shall have a management plan consistent with its policies and objectives and proportionate to scale, intensity and risks of its management activities. The management plan shall be implemented and kept up to date based on monitoring information in order to promote adaptive management. The associated planning and procedural documentation shall be sufficient to guide staff, inform affected stakeholders and interested stakeholders and to justify management decisions.

•    Principle 10: Implementation of Management Activities. Management activities conducted by or for The Organization for the Management Unit shall be selected and implemented consistent with The Organization’s economic, environmental and social policies and objectives and in compliance with the Principles and Criteria collectively.


Sources and more information: http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a1598e/a1598e10.htm, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-and-sanitation/, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforesta…, http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/water/, https://ic.fsc.org/en/web-page-/fsc-contributions-to-achieving-the-sust…, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/59, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/335



SDG 07: Affordable and Clean Energy


We ensure responsibly sourced wood based biomass


Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential.


Affordable biomass like wood is an important source of energy. Globally, 2.6 billion people depend on wood energy, with a large proportion of these living in developing countries. 


The demand for wood energy is currently increasing, exacerbating deforestation. Forest biomass can, however, provide a good alternative to fossil fuels, potentially reducing the climate impacts of energy production. Sustainable forest management helps to minimize greenhouse gas emissions related to the production of biomass. 


FSC certification can be used to ensure that wood based biomass is responsibly sourced, making wood energy an effective alternative to fossil fuels. In this way, FSC contributes to goal 7 of affordable and clean energy.  




FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 7 Affordable and clean energy:

•    FSC’s Principles and Criteria
•    FSC’s national forest management standards



Sources and more information: 
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/energy/, https://ic.fsc.org/en/web-page-/fsc-contributions-to-achieving-the-sust…, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/59, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/335



SDG 08: Decent Work and Economic Growth


We enforce workers rights and ensure forest products are part of a sustainable growth


Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day. And in too many places, having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape from poverty. The slow and uneven progress made to address this requires us to rethink and retool economic and social policies aimed at eradicating poverty.


A continued lack of decent work opportunities, insufficient investments and under-consumption lead to an erosion of the basic social contract underlying democratic societies: that all must share in progress. The creation of quality jobs will remain a major challenge for almost all economies well beyond 2015. 


The FSC certification system is a model in which the use of forest products actively contributes to sustainable economic development and thereby goal 8 of decent work and economic growth. FSC foresees that the use of wood will increase, replacing unsustainable materials such as concrete, steel, and oil. However, sustainably managed forests cannot deliver limitless volumes of resources. Therefore, waste minimization in the production process, efficient use, and the recycling of waste are necessary. All of this is supported by the FSC scheme. For example, FSC has created a special label for products made of 100 percent recycled materials, and accepts reclaimed materials as equivalent to wood from certified or controlled sources. 


Furthermore, FSC supports the SDG targets on employment, decent work and equal pay; the eradication of forced labour and child labour; and the protection of labour rights and provision of safe and secure working environments. FSC’s Principle 2 is dedicated to workers’ rights and employment conditions. Specific criteria and indicators are included to ensure the application of the ILO’s core conventions, gender equality in the workplace, health and safety practices, ‘living’ wages, training, conflict resolution, workers’ engagement, and damage avoidance and compensation. 



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 8 Decent work and economic growth:

•    Principle 2: Workers Rights and Employment Conditions. The Organization shall maintain or enhance the social and economic wellbeing of workers.

•    Acceptance of reclaimed wood and paper in FSC certified products

•    FSC’s Chain-of-Custody standards


Sources and more information: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/economic-growth/, https://ic.fsc.org/en/web-page-/fsc-contributions-to-achieving-the-sust…, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/59, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/335



SDG 09: Industry, Innovations and Infrastructure


Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation


Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in many countries. It has long been recognized that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure.

Inclusive and sustainable industrial development is the primary source of income generation, allows for rapid and sustained increases in living standards for all people, and provides the technological solutions to environmentally sound industrialization.

Technological progress is the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy-efficiency. Without technology and innovation, industrialization will not happen, and without industrialization, development will not happen.



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation: 


FSC fully supports this development goal in line with the other goals. However, we do not directly deliver on the fulfillment of this goal. 


SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries



The international community has made significant strides towards lifting people out of poverty.  The most vulnerable nations – the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries and the small island developing states – continue to make inroads into poverty reduction.  However, inequality still persists and large disparities remain in access to health and education services and other assets.

Additionally, while income inequality between countries may have been reduced, inequality within countries has risen. There is growing consensus that economic growth is not sufficient to reduce poverty if it is not inclusive and if it does not involve the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.

To reduce inequality, policies should be universal in principle paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries: 


FSC fully supports this development goal in line with the other goals. However, we do not directly deliver on the fulfillment of this goal. 



SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable



Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.

However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.

The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.




FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.


FSC fully supports this development goal in line with the other goals. However, we do not directly deliver on the fulfillment of this goal. 



SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption


We are a tool to promote sustainable consumption and production


Responsible consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty. 


FSC is a tool to promote sustainable consumption and production and, as such,  contributes to goal 12 of responsible consumption and production. In terms of production, FSC requires management practices that maintain the resource base while harvesting forest materials and providing services. The FSC certification system offers an opportunity businesses and consumers to source from well-managed forests, providing a vast array of responsibly produced materials for construction, wood panels, floorings, furniture, paper, etc.


In this way FSC contributes to SDG targets on sustainable management and efficient natural resource use, on company reporting on sustainable practices and on information and awareness. More and more public authorities require sustainable sourcing in their purchasing policies and recognize that FSC certification provides evidence of this. FSC therefore also contributes the SDG target on sustainable public procurement.


FSC promotes and rewards, through the FSC Mix and FSC Recycled labels, the reclamation and recycling of wood materials; this contributes to the SGD target on waste reduction. Lastly, FSC’s presence in a number of developing countries, in the form of FSC national organizations and/or certificate holders, contributes to the target on capacity-building in developing countries for more sustainable patterns of consumption and production.



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 12 Responsible consumption and production:

•    FSC’s Chain-of-Custody standards
•    Acceptance of reclaimed wood and paper in FSC certified products
•    Recognition of FSC as proof of responsible sourcing in public procurement policies
•    FSC presence in developing countries as sustainable consumption and production capacity-building 
•    Information and awareness through FSC labels and claims 
•    Company reporting on sustainable practices through FSC-certification
•    FSC’s Principles and Criteria
•    FSC’s national forest management standards


Sources and more information: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-consumption-produ…, https://ic.fsc.org/en/web-page-/fsc-contributions-to-achieving-the-sust…, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/59, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/335



SDG 13: Climate Action


We help combat climate change by ensuring sustainable forests around of the world


Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly. The disruption and costs will be even greater in future. People are experiencing significant impacts of climate change, including changing weather patterns, rising sea level, and the increased occurrence of extreme weather events. 


Forests play an essential role in climate regulation both locally and as part of the water cycle. Alongside oceans, forests are the key ecosystem that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and carbon is stored in both trees and forest soils. The world’s forests contain roughly as much carbon as the atmosphere and the destruction of forest systems contributes to one-sixth of global carbon emissions.


Ending the loss and degradation of forest systems and promoting sustainable management and restoration programmes are key to achieving positive climate action. Forests have great potential to contribute to future mitigation of climate changes and to limit the harmful consequences of climate change.


FSC contributes to the achievement of goal 13 of climate action in several ways. FSC gives special attention to protecting the function of forests as net removers of CO2 from the atmosphere. In terms of carbon in wood products, FSC’s certification scheme for forest management, its chain of custody control standards, and its outreach to consumers through its labels, all contribute to mitigating climate change by promoting sustainable forest management, and the recycling of wood materials.


FSC only grants certificates to foresters who manage infrastructural development, transport and silvicultural activities so that water resources and soils are protected. Contrary to many agriculture practices, FSC does not accept significant disturbances to forest soils. 



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 13 Climate action:

•    FSC’s Principles and Criteria

•    FSC’s national forest management standards

•    10.10 The Organization shall manage infrastructural development, transport activities and silviculture so that water resources and soils are protected, and disturbance of and damage to rare and threatened species, habitats, ecosystems and landscape values are prevented, mitigated and/or repaired.

•    9.1 The Organization, through engagement* with affected stakeholders, interested stakeholders and other means and sources, shall assess and record the presence and status of the following High Conservation Values in the Management Unit, proportionate to the scale, intensity and risk* of impacts of management activities, and likelihood of the occurrence of the High Conservation Values:
o    HCV 4 - Critical ecosystem services. Basic ecosystem services* in critical situations, including protection of water catchments and control of erosion of vulnerable soils and slopes.

•    FSC’s Chain-of-Custody standards

•    Acceptance of reclaimed wood and paper in FSC certified products.

•    Information and awareness through FSC labels and claims. 


Sources and more information: 
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/, http://www.fao.org/forestry/climatechange/53459/en/, https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/forests-and-climate-change/, https://ic.fsc.org/en/web-page-/fsc-contributions-to-achieving-the-sust…, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/59, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/335



SDG 14: Life Below Water


We foster new life below water by securing rivers and streams



The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet. It regulates the climate system and supports the global economy, nutrition, health and wellbeing. Due to human activities and climate change, oceans are experiencing habitat loss. The general decline in ocean health is challenging food security and other basic human needs. Rivers and streams commonly run through forests on their way to the ocean. Mangrove forests provide important nurseries for marine life and are crucial to both coastal and offshore fisheries. Thus, forests influence both their immediate surroundings and the stability of the wider environment. 


Deforestation and degradation of forests creates erosion, sending sediments downstream that can block the sunlight coral reefs need to thrive. Other aspects of land management also lead to the destruction of marine habitats, including pollution from fertilizers and pesticides, dredging, draining of wetlands, and coastal development.


Securing and expanding forest area and ensuring that forests are well-managed supports the goal to reduce marine pollution from land-based activities.





FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 14 Life below water:

•    FSC’s Principles and Criteria

•    FSC’s national forest management standards


Sources and more information: 




SDG 15: Life On Land


We secure life on land through responsible management of our forests




Forests harbor vital genetic diversity and are home to the majority of the world’s land-based plants, animals and other living organisms. This means that forest degradation and deforestation contribute considerably to a global loss of this biodiversity and ecosystem services. Thirteen million hectares of forests are lost every year while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares.


Forests cover 30 percent of the Earth’s surface and, in addition to providing food security and shelter, are key to combating climate change, and the protection of biodiversity and the homes of indigenous populations.  

FSC contributes to goal 15 of life on land by providing a system for responsible management of forests worldwide for this and future generations. FSC aims to combat the loss of biodiversity through a balanced extraction of forest products.

 The FSC certification system ensures the protection of valuable natural forest areas and species, fights illegal logging, and supports the implementation of integrated landscape management policies - including reforestation and forest restoration programs.


The FSC forest management standards require forest managers to prevent deforestation, avoid forest degradation, and maintain biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Only those forest managers that meet and maintain these standards are granted FSC certificates.


Applying the principles of FSC in forest restoration and afforestation projects can encourage the creation of multi-functional forests, with benefits beyond the borders of the project. Certification can also enhance the economic potential of such projects.



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 15 Life on land:
•    FSC’s Principle and Criteria

•    FSC’s national forest management standards

•    5.2 The Organization shall normally harvest products and services from the Management Unit at or below a level which can be permanently sustained.

•    Principle 6: Environmental Values and Impacts. The Organization shall maintain, conserve and/or restore ecosystem services and environmental values of the Management Unit, and shall avoid, repair or mitigate negative environmental impacts.

•    Principle 9: High Conservation Values. The Organization shall maintain and/or enhance the High Conservation Values in the Management Unit through applying the precautionary approach.

•    A study from the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala (Hodgdon et al., 2015) confirmed that FSC-certified areas do this much better than legally protected sites in the same national park.


Sources and more information: 
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/getWSDoc.php?id=2940, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/biodiversity/,   https://ic.fsc.org/en/web-page-/fsc-contributions-to-achieving-the-sust…, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/59, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/335



SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


We enforce relevant laws in forests around the world



Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.


FSC contributes to this goal in a variety of ways. For FSC, the enforcement of relevant laws is the basis of sustainable forest management. This is reflected in FSC Principle 1 and elaborated in specific requirements regarding legal rights to harvest and harvesting activities, environmental and social requirements, and customary rights. In particular, FSC focuses on free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) for local people and Indigenous Peoples.


FSC requires forest managers to publicize a non-bribery commitment (neither paying nor receiving bribes) and, depending on the situation, take specific measures to ensure their non-involvement in corruption. In this way, FSC contributes in particular to SDG targets regarding the rule of law and reduction of corruption and bribery. Moreover, FSC, through its governance system and stakeholder engagement in political decision-making at international and national levels (including in the development of national standards and in preparation for certification decisions), is an example for other multi-stakeholder-based certification schemes.


Through its FPIC requirements (especially in politically challenging countries), FSC expects its certified entities to establish more inclusive and better governed institutions for negotiations between local populations and logging companies; better managed and more effective benefit-sharing mechanisms; and innovative ways of dealing with problems related to infringements of customary uses.



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions:

•    Principle 1: Compliance with Laws. The Organization shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations and nationally ratified international treaties, conventions and agreements.
•    Principle 3: Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. The Organization shall identify and uphold Indigenous Peoples’ legal and customary rights of ownership, use and management of land, territories and resources affected by management activities.
•    FSC’s governance and stakeholder engagement system a role model for other certification schemes.

Sources and more information: 
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/peace-justice/,   https://ic.fsc.org/en/web-page-/fsc-contributions-to-achieving-the-sust…, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/59, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/335



SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals


We are a global platform for partnerships around sustainable use of forest products


A successful sustainable development agenda requires collaboration between governments, the private sector and civil society. Inclusive partnerships built upon shared principles, values, vision and goals which place people and the planet at the centre, are needed at the global, regional, national and local level.


FSC’s composition and operation contributes in particular to promotion of civil society partnerships and thereby goal 17. FSC is governed by three chambers with equal vote and power to make decisions. The three chambers represent environmental, economic and social interests. Interdependence between the chambers often leads to collaboration that can range from administrative connections, joint training and management activities and development projects supported by business.


FSC supports legal and commercially viable forest management practices, which contribute to increasing national incomes through fees and taxes. FSC assists in the implementation of timber legality legislation in the USA, the European Union and Australia. The legislation aims to close down markets for illegally harvested timber, which can contradict sustainable development. FSC also assists in improving the image of tropical timber in Northern markets, where consumers are concerned about the negative environmental and social impacts of producing such timber



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 17 Partnerships for the goals:

  • FSC’s three chamber governance model
  • FSC’s diverse membership FSC’s multi-stakeholder approach and collaboration
  • FSC’s Chain-of-Custody standards


Sources and more information:



https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/59, https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/335